ETHICAL ISSUES: GOVERNMENT
We’ve chosen the non-word UNETHICS as the evil twin of ethics. If unethical is a word, then unethics might be its valid parent. If ethics (loosely, that which is right, good and true) is founded in truth, then unethics (conversely that which is wrong, bad and false) is founded in lies, i.e., Unethics = lies. We need this word, so let’s use it…
One of the first things that comes to mind is the role of unethics in our government, where it’s evident from the top down. Let’s start at the top, where it begins.
Lying to get elected has become an accepted political strategy endorsed by academia. A Professor at the Chicago School of Business tells us that people lie because they are expected to lie–he calls it an “expectations trap.” (This of course says as much for academia as it does for politics and anyplace else that sanctions lying.) Calling it a trap means that the liar is forced into the act rather than accepting responsibility for it, because “everybody does it.” This is reasoning? This does not even qualify as ‘situation ethics,’ which isn’t ethics at all.
The President is as guilty of this as any other politician, but it’s OK because he had to—you see, there was this “expectations trap”… He vowed a bipartisanship and transparency in government (even to the point of televising congressional sessions) that was never meant to come to pass, but it sounded good and got him elected. His health care bill was forced through Congress even before being read by its members (of either party), because “we have to pass it so we can see what’s in it”, promising among other things that those with insurance would not be affected—that the typical family would save about $2500 per year. Now that the facts are in, independent analyses show that its premiums will rise significantly. Indeed, after we saw “what’s in it,” it was discovered that disruption of peoples’ existing insurance is one of its stated goals—it’s in it. There are many other promises not kept as well (like vowing to close Guantanamo and undoing all the terrible things the former President did…). Making promises not meant to be kept is UNETHICAL. And lying is what unethics is all about, anyway, so we continue…
Once elected, the President’s vow to protect our Constitution was compromised as well by making recess appointments to the NLRB when the Senate was in session (specifically to avoid those very appointments). Recently the court found these appointments to be unconstitutional. In fact, the president regularly uses executive orders to avoid congressional review of proposed actions. The Framers intended congress to have the primary legislative power, the President’s power here being limited to the veto. Exceeding his constitutional powers is UNETHICAL.
Additionally, the Justice Department (part of the Executive headed by the President) refuses to enforce laws to which it objects (example: deportation of illegals, as required by law). This is UNETHICAL.
Another example of disrespect of the law is shown by the NLRB’s refusal to follow the court’s findings and (its illegal members) will continue doing business as if nothing happened. That’s UNETHICAL. To paraphrase a line from an old movie: “Courts? We don’t need no stinkin’ courts!” Why have government at all if it will not follow its own rules? Why, indeed? Let’s just change those rules, or better still let’s just change the government! While we’re at it let’s just change the definition of ethics. Maybe then we won’t have an unethical President.
The President’s January inaugural address hints at that possibility: “Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.” How does “individual” freedom (the very basis of our republic) square with “collective action” (which sounds suspiciously socialistic)? Well then, let’s just change the Constitution!
We realize that the above may not be considered politically correct, but if politics is incorrect to start with, how can it be otherwise? We have a Constitution which government swears to uphold. If this is not honored at the top, why expect it to be respected at lower levels?
Where is this headed? Can unethics change the world? Humanity being innately ethical, this of course cannot happen. But let’s not make things tougher than they are. Let’s demand ethics in government. It’s right to do so and it is our right to do so, and that right is upheld by law. To paraphrase (from Henry VI), “First thing we do is UPHOLD THE LAW.” (The original reference, from Shakespeare, is: First thing we do, we kill all the lawyers, www.spectacle.org/797/finkel.html but I’m not advocating that.) Then we can go about solving the problem.
There’s a lot to be done, and it’s done the same way as counting flock of geese. Regular readers will recognize this as ONE GOOSE AT A TIME. This might suggest that we start goosing…
EXTREMEETHICS. Get the idea?
Comments? Questions? Concerns?